UXC General Assembly Project

January 15, 2018 Side Projects

During the UXC at General Assembly, I was required to come up with a problem to solve revolving around communication. My initial idea, was to develop an app that would help displaced populations communicate with family and friends. After researching the idea, and realizing that the scope of that project was too big for the course, I pivoted to creating a messaging app.

Chatter was born out of a desire to design an application that would meet the needs of a user with anxiety. After speaking with a friend who’s anxiety was such that having to keep track of multiple messaging applications, led her to want to communicate less with family and friends.

Use Case & Problem Statement:

After working all day in customer service, I need a way to communicate in a way that minimizes my anxiety, so that I’m not overwhelmed by the amount of effort it takes. If I can find all of my messages in one place, I’m not as anxious about having to switch between multiple applications on top of communicating.

We believe that by creating an application that aggregates messages for Claire, we will achieve a more effective way for her to communicate. We will know this to be true when she is able to communicate with less anxiety.

The Problem:
People need a way to communicate quickly and effectively with friends and family. Users can become frustrated by technology that is overly complicated, without clear direction on how the application functions.

Based on my use case and problem statement, I began to brainstorm features that I might want to use.

Personas:

Research

Research Goals:

  • How people interact with others using technology.
  • Ways to improve how people with less access to technology can interact with others, including over large distances.
  • What avenues are there for people to connect quickly , securely, and with minimal cost.
  • How displaced people connect and communicate using technology and how to improve it.

Research Assumptions:

  • My assumption was that people would use phones (call, text, messaging applications) to do the bulk of their communicating.
  • I expected that the younger generations would gravitate toward social media when they communicated, and that older generations would rely more on phone calls and postal mail.

User Interviews:
I conducted interviews with a case study of four people from different economic backgrounds, technical skills, and age groups.
The questions I asked centered around how people interact with others using technology, how they preferred to communicate, how often they communicated with others, and what factors kept them from communicating with others.

I used card sorting to help determine which items would fall under which headings in the menu. I then asked my testers to sort them as they would expect to see them.


Before sort


First User’s Sort


Second User’s Sort

Project Proposal

Objective:
To foster better communication between people regardless of location, tech savvy, or equipment.
From my research, I learned that users want an easy way to keep in contact with friends and family, both local, and miles away. The biggest issue that seemed to keep users from interacting with others was often one of two things. Either the technology they were using didn’t work as they’d like, or issues outside of their control kept them from being able to communicate. The goal of this project is to give users an application that addresses their technological needs, in hopes of reducing the stress that might occur when communicating with others. The target audience is 25 and up, with a focus on the 25-45 age range.

Features:

  • Aggregates from other messaging apps – retain anonymity if
    available
  • Group chat
  • Ability to create multiple groups as needed
  • Add, block, and remove participants as needed
  • Customizable interface
  • Avatar
  • Background
  • Banner
  • Sound notifications
  • Moves seamlessly between mobile and desktop apps depending on user needs.
  • No loss of messages when switching between applications
  • Won’t be forced to sign out of one application when working in another

For this application, the Minimum Viable Product would have to include the ability to aggregate from other apps and moving seamlessly between mobile and desktop apps.

After I started my research, and got feedback from the users, I began sketching wireframes on notebook paper before moving to index cards.

After making a few adjustment based on user feedback from paper testing, I began making hi resolution wireframes with Sketch.

With feedback from my mentor, a second round of adjustments were made before using InVision to make them interactive.

The link to the prototype can be found here.

Usability Test Feedback:

    Pain Points & Highlights

  • Screens with little text doesn’t give enough direction.
  • Better use of back button throughout app to help navigation needed.
  • What’s Next

  • UX Improvements to be made
  • Add back button to navigation to alleviate extra clicks when using menu button.
  • Add clarification text to linked accounts screen.

UXC Slides can be found here.

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